Posted On: December 20, 2011 by Andrew G. Slutkin

Anesthesia Malpractice During Dental Surgery Cause Death of Teen

In late March, a Maryland teen died at Johns Hopkins Hospital after she was deprived of oxygen during routine wisdom tooth surgery. Her parents have since brought a medical malpractice suit against the oral surgeon and anesthesiologist who performed the dental procedure.

At the outset of the surgery, the teen was administered a standard dose of anesthesia. This dose was not sufficient to perform the surgery and an additional dose was administered. Shortly afterwards, the teen’s heart rate began to slow.

The medical malpractice suit, brought in Howard County, alleges that the doctors were negligent in their care of the teen. The suit states that they committed a serious medical error when, during the course of the surgery, the teen’s heart rate slowed to 40 beats per minute and her oxygen level began to drop, but doctors failed to resuscitate her. By the time emergency personnel arrived, the teen had no pulse and had suffered permanent and irreversible brain injury.

The teen was transported to Johns Hopkins Hospital where she remained in a coma until she died ten days later. The cause of death was determined to be damage to the brain from lack of oxygen and severe swelling of the brain tissue. A copy of the article regarding the lawsuit can be found here.

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